Garden Photo of the Day

GPOD on the Road: The Gardens at HCP

Canadian gardens in a traditional Japanese style

bridge to the garden

A good friend of the GPOD, Cherry Ong, is taking us along on a visit to another public garden.

It’s exciting to visit a new garden, and this one didn’t disappoint. The Gardens at HCP consists of 9 acres of demonstration gardens and 100 acres of a conservation park. The gardens were originally named the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific, then were renamed Glendale Gardens and Woodlands, and now are known as the Gardens at HCP.

The Takata Japanese Garden opened in 1998 and is the largest garden at HCP, with a Zen garden and a ceremonial tea house. The bonsai garden was established in 2013. The late George Heffelfinger was a long-time HCP supporter and a key player in creating this garden. Several bonsai from his collection are on display here. Some of the Vancouver Island Bonsai Society members volunteer their time maintaining this amazing garden.

garden in the fallCherry visited this garden in the fall, so the trees were coloring up, adding an extra layer of beauty to the garden.

Japanese garden with water featureWater features are almost always included in Japanese gardens.

branch and leaf design on a wooden gateI love the branch-and-leaf design on this wooden gate—such an interesting use of positive and negative space!

A walkway across the waterIn Japanese gardens, it is traditional to use staggered bridges like this or stepping stones rather than straight paths. The idea is to force you to slow down as you move through the garden so you take in all the details.

flowing water to the bridge and towering trees beyondA beautiful view, looking upstream to the bridge and towering trees beyond.

bridge over to the gardenThis bridge invites you to explore more of the garden.

Japanese rock gardenA traditional Japanese rock garden is designed to invite you to sit and meditate.

Japanese mapleA Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) bonsai colors up for fall.

boxwoodA boxwood (Buxus microphylla var. compacta, Zones 6–9) bonsai

crepe myrtle bonsaiThis close-up of a crape myrtle (Lagerstromia species, Zones 7–10) bonsai shows the beautiful peeling bark seen in mature specimens of this species, but in a miniature form.

View Comments


  1. gardendevas 01/14/2022

    Thanks so much for sharing! Very serene and inspiring.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/14/2022

      You’re welcome.

  2. User avater
    PKKing 01/14/2022

    Simply gorgeous! Thank you for sharing.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/14/2022

      You’re welcome. Hope you can visit one day.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 01/14/2022

    Cherry, thanks so much for sharing. The pics are wonderful!

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/14/2022

      Thank you. Have you been? The bonsai display is out of this world. Those photos are a mere fraction of their display.

  4. User avater
    cynthia2020 01/14/2022

    Cherry - I loved seeing all the photos today. Plus the fullness of the maple and boxwood bonsai was incredible to see. The Gardens at HCP is now on my list of gardens to visit.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/14/2022

      I’m glad it’s on your list. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  5. User avater
    user-7007816 01/14/2022

    Beautiful Garden! Hope I have the opportunity to visit.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/14/2022

      I hope so too. Definitely lots to see and enjoy. Maybe even shop for as they have plant sales and the work of local artisans.

  6. ajdirt 01/14/2022

    Stunning. Every single one.

    1. perenniallycrazy 01/14/2022

      Thank you.

  7. User avater
    simplesue 01/14/2022

    Such an amazing garden- perfection totally!

  8. user-7007672 01/14/2022

    Beautiful! I hope to visit with you and Marilou some day!

  9. btucker9675 01/14/2022

    This is a stunning garden - how fortunate you are to be able to visit!

  10. fromvirginia 01/14/2022

    Simply stunning and great photos. Thanks for sharing Cherry. Yvonne

  11. janetgee 01/15/2022

    I googled HPC and found high performance computing. ???

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